Luana Alcañiz Poster

Biography

Green-eyed Spanish-born actress and dancer, born Lucrecia Ana Úbeda Pubillones. Her parents took her to New York at the age of two but she spent much of her early childhood back in Spain, followed by two years in a Catholic convent in Havana, Cuba. Aged sixteen, she returned to New York with her parents to perform in vaudeville. She quickly made a name for herself as "La Flor de España", singing and dancing at the Roxy Theatre and in nightclubs. Now calling herself Luana Alcañiz, she formed a partnership with the dancer Juan Puerta who subsequently became her husband. In 1930, she signed a contract with Fox and appeared in a leading role with Humphrey Bogart and Victor McLaglen in the south-of-the-border adventure A Devil with Women (1930). She was afterwards starred in several American-made Spanish language pictures released by Warner Brothers/First National and Columbia, including La dama atrevida (1931) and El pasado acusa (1931). By the early 40's, Luana worked as a freelance actress making pictures in Cuba (It Happened in Havana (1938)), Venezuela (Alma llanera (1945)) and Mexico (Sol y sombra (1946)). By 1947, she had moved back to Spain and set up her permanent residence in Madrid. She made a few more films as a supporting actress until the early 60's, briefly coming out of retirement for a small role in Doctor Zhivago (1965), her scenes filmed on a set built just outside Madrid.